How to Become a CART Services Captioner
The everyday communication access challenges that Deaf individuals face inspire many people to seek ways of supporting equal communication channels. Some pursue American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting to fill this need, while others follow a CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services captioning career. The latter involves a distinct skill set from the former; specifically, CART captioners assist Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals by typing the words spoken at events such as meetings, lectures, and presentations. It provides a rewarding career path yet requires specific skills, training, and qualifications. Let’s talk about the necessary steps to becoming a CART service provider.
HIS Sign Interpreting offers ASL interpreting and CART services to folks in and around Rockville, MD. We aim to be a reliable provider that ensures effective communication for all. Our team provides onsite and virtual ASL interpreting and CART services for events, meetings, conferences, classrooms, and more. Call (877) 458-7408 to learn more about our ASL and CART offerings.
Below, we outline a step-by-step plan for becoming a CART services captioner:
Obtain a Degree in a Relevant Field
A captioner’s career options include working through a service provider and offering freelance services. Yet either way, they can expect to need at least a 2-year associate degree in a relevant field, such as court reporting, broadcast captioning, or stenography.
Alternatively, pursuing a 4-year bachelor’s degree affords more opportunities to explore related fields such as linguistics, communication, or English. A background in such studies can only bolster one’s knowledge and broaden career prospects.
Gain Pertinent Experience
One can enrich this education by gaining first-hand experience as a CART services captioner. Some entry-level jobs—like transcription writing, real-time captioning, or court reporting—can provide this invaluable practice.
You can find such positions in sign language forums or on freelance websites. Paid and unpaid internships offer further ideal places to begin garnering hands-on experience.
In the CART services practice, certifications demonstrate proficiency, competency, and relevant skills. For instance, the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) offers several certifications to help your resume stand out.
Consider the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification, a professional credential earned through a skills and knowledge test. Some employers require applicants to pass one or more certification courses; a CRC could fulfill that necessity.
Build a Strong Portfolio
A robust portfolio with ample experience in a relevant field can convince potential employers to hire you. Showcasing your previous work also provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your skills, experience, and knowledge. Your captioning portfolio should offer examples of your real-time and post-production captions accompanied by transcripts or recordings of the event.
Apply for Jobs
Once you’ve completed your education and gathered some pertinent experience to fill out your portfolio, assemble your application materials. Your resume can elucidate your education, certifications, and experience—a cover letter can act as your self-introduction. Put your best foot forward by crafting a compelling yet concise cover letter.
Then, begin researching potential employers. Leverage any leads stemming from your previous industry experience or connections. We encourage young professionals to apply for CART positions, complete some interviews, and provide their outstanding resumes and portfolios!
Become a CART Service Provider in Rockville, MD
By taking the above steps, you can develop a fulfilling career in CART and positively impact the lives of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people. At HIS Sign, we encourage such a career path and want to offer opportunities for CART service providers to make a difference. If you live near Rockville, MD, apply to join our certified and trained interpreting team. Call (877) 458-7408 to learn more about HIS Sign and our ASL and CART services.